The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that three-fourths of the 210,000 people who sought treatment in hospital emergency rooms for toy-related injuries in 2004 were younger than 15. The CPSC provides these tips for selecting safe toys:
- Select toys to suit the age, abilities, skills, and interest level of the child. Toys too advanced may pose safety hazards to young children.
- For infants, toddlers, and all children who still mouth objects, avoid small toys and toys with small parts, which could pose a fatal choking hazard. (If the toy fits inside a standard toilet paper tube,consider it a potential choking hazard.)
- Look for sturdy construction on plush toys, such as tightly secured eyes and noses.
- For children under age 8, avoid toys that have sharp edges and points, as well as electric toys with heating elements.
- Look for labels that give age and safety recommendations. If there is no label, don’t use that toy.
- Immediately discard plastic wrappings on toys. They can cause suffocation.